Military Rules

2016-10-11-13-51_page_5Richard Henry Lee letter to unknown recipient, 1777 May 6
from the Hale Signers collection, 1736-1824, Ms. Coll.621, box 1, folder 27

In the early days of the American Revolutionary War, Richard Henry Lee (1732-1974), an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies’ independence from Great Britain, wrote a letter to an unknown recipient about military actions taking place on the coast of the United States.  This letter reads, “Having written to you so lately by Express this chiefly serves to convey my wishes that another Delegate might be hastened here, for the reasons you will see in the inclosed note, this moment put into my hands.  By a late letter from France, we understand that our enemies have given up their plan of attacking Virginia for the present, in order to gratify their stronger resentment against New England.  However, I greatly question their being able to do much against either, as a French & Spanish war seems inevitable.  A curious Act of Parliament has passed to make our opposition on the land high Treason, and on the sea Piracy—And directing a place of imprisonment in England until it is convenient to try the offenders—It is an acrimonious and foolish display of tyranny.”

2016-10-11-13-51_page_2Report on mutinous expressions and punishment of the mutineers, July 23, 1801
Richard Cooper journal on the ship Henry Dundas, 1801-1802, Ms. Coll. 1109

On July 23, 1801, the captain of the ship Henry Dundas which was traveling from Madeira toward Ceylon reported that he confined John Hughes and Philip Thornton for insolence and mutinous expressions. The next day, the captain reports on a number of prosaic matters including information on the work being done by the carpenter, the cooper, and the sail maker.  Then suddenly, he drops in the fact that “he punished John Hughes with 15 lashes and released Thornton out of irons upon his appearing penitent and promising amendment.”

American Expeditionary Forces booklet and “memorandum” regarding “clean living” and protocol, circa 1917-1919
from the R. Norris Williams collection of World War I material, 1914-1988, Ms. Coll. 956, Box 2, folder 14

R. Norris Williams (1891-1968) served in the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I and was a bit of a magpie, picking up papery bits from battlefields and trenches.  As a result, his collection contains amazing material (propaganda toilet paper, leaflets, sketches, and travel passes) that would not have been deemed valuable by a great many at the time–but today enhances the more official history of World War I.  We have selected rules for “clean living” and by clean living, the AEF really meant not contracting sexually transmitted diseases.  And that meant staying away from prostitutes for which there is a confidential memorandum outlining the punishments for “all ranks and militarized civilians who are seen associating in cafes and other public places with prostitutes and women of questionable character.”  This same memorandum also outlines the punishments for not wearing appropriate uniform (or who present a slovenly appearance) and not saluting.  Fortunately, the AEF provided a detailed booklet on salutes and courtesies and uniform regulations.  Clearly, wearing a uniform properly must have been harder than it looks!

2016-10-11-11-28_page_2“Am I as offensive as I might be?”
The “New Church” Times with which is incorporated the Wipers Times, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1916 May 22
Oblong UA652.S5 W57

The Wipers Times collection was gifted to the Penn Libraries by our favorite magpie, R. Norris Williams.  This delightfully subversive publication was a World War I trench paper issued by British soldiers of the 12th Battalian, Sherwood Foresters, who were fighting in the area of Ypres.  When a sergeant who had been a printer in peacetime salvaged a left-behind printing press, the Wipers Times was born.  Every page is sassy, sarcastic, and often funny–even to those who don’t know the inside stories. We have selected this engraving by Sapper E.J. Couzens which is titled “Am I as offensive as I might be?”

“Proposal for Defense” and “Instruction on how to save your life,” circa 1941-1945
from the George R. Allen collection of World War II memorabilia, 1935-1950 (bulk: 1939-1945), Ms. Coll. 966, box 1, folders 11-12

During World War II, George R. Allen (1919-1998) served with the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army as an interrogator of prisoners of war. As the war drew to a close in 1945, the Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC), which was beginning to round up former Nazi officials in German territory, was sorely in need of individuals who spoke German. Because of his knowledge of German, Allen was assigned to the CIC detachment of his division. The detachment had the task of finding and interrogating Nazis in the areas to which they were assigned. In May, Allen’s CIC detachment was sent to Berchtesgaden, in the Bavarian Alps, the site of a favored retreat of Hitler and a key site in Nazi operations.  The two documents that we present here are propaganda leaflets that were dropped by parachute on the German troops encouraging them to surrender.  The great thing about them is that we have the printed English mock-up as well as the versions in German that were dropped.

2016-10-11-13-51_page_3Good conduct medal, circa 1942-1945
from the Jack Rosenfeld papers, 1910-2003 (bulk: 1942-1945), Ms. Coll. 807, box 14

Jack Rosenfeld (1921-2004), the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, enlisted in the United States Army on August 19, 1942 and on May 9, 1943, he sailed for North Africa, where he was selected to serve as a court reporter for the board of officers who conducted hearings about the reclassification of officers. During that time he was stationed in the cities of Oran, Algiers, Bizerte and Tunis. When the board disbanded, around December 1943, Rosenfeld was assigned to be confidential secretary of “A” Force, an organization led by British Brigadier Dudley Wrangel Clarke that was responsible for the Allied cover and deception operations in the Mediterranean and Middle East. In his work with “A” Force Jack Rosenfeld was responsible for recording all traffic and keeping the situation map and deception map. He also recorded and transmitted traffic for double agents; prepared and delivered deception documents; and recorded the minutes of brainstorming sessions devoted to developing deception traffic and operations. He had top-secret clearance, and could not discuss any details of his work in his correspondence with family and friends.  In addition to the good conduct medal you see here, Rosenfeld was also awarded the Bronze Star.

2016-10-11-13-51_page_4United States. Army Air Forces. [Blood chit from World War II], circa 1941-1945
Folio UG1173.U52 1943

This blood chit (also called an escape or identification flag) was carried by an American aviator in the Pacific during World War II. Along with a large American flag, the blood chit contains a message in French, Annamese, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Lao for any person who may have found the downed pilot, stating (in rough translation): “I am an American pilot.  My plane has been destroyed. I cannot speak your language. I am an enemy of the Japanese. Please protect me, provide me with first aid, and take me to the closest Allied military office. The government of my country will compensate you.”

Special Orders for American German Relations / Headquarters, Communications Zone European Theater of Operations, US Army, circa 1945
from the George Seldes papers, Ms. Coll. 1140 (cataloging in process)

George Seldes (1890-1995) was an investigative reporter, foreign correspondent, editor, author, and media critic, who sought to find the truth in a story and print it. Seldes was best known for the publication of the weekly newsletter In Fact from 1940 to 1950, a compendium of news other newspapers refused to print.  This leaflet from the Seldes collection provides American servicemen (and women) with rules for American-German relations which include: 1) To remember always that Germany, though conquered, is still a dangerous enemy nation; 2) Never to trust Germans, collectively or individually; 3) To defeat German efforts to poison my thoughts or influence my attitude; 4) To avoid acts of violence except when required by military necessity; 5) To conduct myself at all times so as to command the respect of the German people for myself, the United States, and for the Allied Cause; 6) Never to associate with Germans; and 7) To be fair but firm with Germans.  According to John C.H. Lee, Lt. General of the US Army, “as we have defeated Nazi might, so now must we defeat Nazi ideas.”

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